Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spring is Here! 2017 edition

Hello dear darling readers,

We have a wonderful edition for you today. Thank you to all who have contributed their work and who keep this site alive! Affinity CoLab delights in publishing your work and providing a platform for all artists and writers.

Speaking of platforms... the stage at Steel City Coffeehouse was buzzing Sunday, April 23rd during Affinity CoLab's first ever For the Love of Books event. It was a lovely time!  This event also resulted in, not only building community for local published authors, but also Affinity CoLab's latest Featured Books page! Please check it out and support these incredibly talented people.

In the Artist to Watch series, Affinity CoLab, is featuring the justice-minded and smart works by Katie Schmidt McMurry. Katie's Artist Site is the go-to place for gifts that promote positivity and togetherness in our current some-what fractured social/political climate. We can't wait to see what Katie creates next!

Watching artists... that reminds me of Krystle N. Adams! She is also among the artists to watch in her new webseries Brooklyn Baby, Jersey Maybe. Affinity CoLab is proud to present all three episodes: Chapters One, Two, and Three so you can binge on the first three of what will be a successful series. Affinity CoLab would also like to take a moment to congratulate Krystle on her new acting position with New Hampshire's Weathervane Theatre and the official establishment of her production company: KNA Productions, LLC! For behind the scenes and news about the future of Brooklyn Baby, Jersey Maybe, check out and follow their Facebook and Instagram pages for exclusive peeks of the show and the people who Krystle describe as the best cast and crew ever.

Next up, Affinity CoLab is pleased to present the work of newcomer, memoir writer Abby Cohen. Abby is a regular performer and occasional host of the infamous Thursday night open mic at Steel City Coffeehouse. She is also, we are happy to say, a regular reader of lyrics and childhood memories at Affinity CoLab's 4th Sunday Story/Poetry Slam. Here is one of our favorites, Don't Blame Canada.

In the Poetry Series we welcome another newcomer, Sam Traten and second-time contributor, Patty Kline Capaldo. Sam is a fairly new poet with a zest for the written word and Patty (who is also featured in our For the Love of Books event recap) is a published author who leads the writing group, Just Write, in Collegeville, PA. Welcome Sam and Patty!

MicroFiction is the telling of a story in the most concise way possible. This Summer we will bring back a favorite: Our MicroFiction Series Challenge. In this challenge, Affinity CoLab will be publishing stories anywhere from 6 words to 200 words a piece. The challenge is in the storytelling. How concise can a writer be? Here to provide an example is regular contributor, Fred W. Feldman with his piece, Re: Walser? 

Affinity CoLab would like to wrap up this edition with the fantastic fact that it is, indeed, SPRING. Therefore, by pure coincidence and joy of this fact, everyone who submitted photos to this edition submitted lovely nature photos! Bliss! Thank you, photographers, for letting us peer through your lens and see the world as an artist does:

Patty Kline Capaldo: Early Spring in Chanticleer Garden
Nathaniel Lieberman: Pikes Peak
Phyllis Feulner: Dogwood
Harrison, age 11: Nature Dream
Ronna Fretz: April Series

That's it! Thank you readers for tuning in, and...

Happy Creating!

Katy Comber
Founder and Curator
Affinity CoLab

Photo Series, Ronna Fretz


April Series
By Ronna Fretz

Location: Ben Franklin Bridge

Location: Art Museum, Philadelphia

Location: Art Museum, Philadelphia

Location: Valley Forge

Location: Valley Forge

Location: Valley Forge 

Location: Ridley Park

Poetry Series, Patty Kline Capaldo



CLAMMING UP
by Patty Kline Capaldo

They tickle the back of my throat
Unspoken tear-filled words
That might have let you know
You hurt me so

I close my mouth, the chords constrict
‘Round lumps of silent pain
But I cannot let you know
You hurt me so

To share my pain would add to yours
No healing can be gained
So I will not let you know
You hurt me so

Years roll by in muted ache when
You leave me on a sigh
For I never let you know
I loved you so

Photo Series, Patty Kline Capaldo


Early Spring in Chanticleer Garden 
by Patty Kline Capaldo






MicroFiction Series, Fred W Feldman



Re: Walser?
By Fred W. Feldman

Transcription:

Polly was in a hospital bed in 4b. Jets of warm light streamed onto the white sheet. Her friend was in the room also. Polly sat silently. Then she spoke. “The cancer is in my brain, Rod.” Rod nodded and smiled. “Let’s put on some music.” Rod went to the record player. He picked out a record, then he fished a file out of his pocket and began filing away at the record. “I think this is track 8,” he said. “I’m messing it up.” He examined his handiwork, then put the record on. “I guess we’ll find out when we get to track 8.” Polly wished she had socks.


Photo Series, Nathaniel Lieberman



These are pictures I took on our annual father-son drive up Pikes Peak, Colorado. for me these pictures represent fortitude, fatherly bond and perspective on how small we really all are.

You can see more of my work on my Instagram @nathaniel.lieberman





Short Fiction/Memoir Series, Abby Cohen

Don’t Blame Canada

by Abby Cohen


One of my favorite stories is one about an elevator.  My family had gone on vacation to Canada. (Note: I’m not blaming Canada for what happened, so don’t blame Canada.) 

We were in Montreal, I think. Possibly, Toronto.  Us kids had run ahead of my parents into the elevator. We hit the first floor button as my parents were catching up to us.  So, we hit the “Door Open” button. The doors stuck with only a crack open, and then refused to budge in either direction.  

Through the crack, we could see my parents on the other side. We could speak with them too; although, conversation was impossible because my sister was screaming, “We were going to suffocate and die!” She threw herself on the floor, and continued to carry on, kicking and screaming without stopping. As you might imagine, this was very loud within the confines of an elevator. 

My brother, a young man of action, found the emergency phone. He used it to demand that we be rescued.  Me, realizing that we could be stuck for a while, did what I did best. I sat down, curled up in a corner of the elevator, pulled the book out of my pocket, and began to read. 

I remember it was a book about the presidents of the United States of America with a chapter dedicated to each one, up to the current president of the time of its publication. I don’t remember much detail except that we are supposed to feel sorry for Franklin Pierce for some reason and Gerald Ford was left-handed.  The main thing I remember is the chapter on John Adams who liked to take his daily constitutional swim in the Potomac. In the nude. A female reporter who had been repeatedly denied an interview, showed up one morning, sat down on his clothes, and refused to move until he promised her an interview. Presumably, at some point after she left and he got dressed, he followed through on his promise. Wait a minute. There was a female reporter? In what year?

Nature Photo Series, Phyllis Feulner




Dogwood
by Phyllis Feulner


Poetry Series, Sam Traten


Tantrum in the Supermarket

A beehive of motion, a buzz of wing-like elbows,
a clash of carts, a frenzy for the queen's royal
jelly of stockpiled wealth from the orchard's bounty.
Easy to laugh at and fun to watch, pre-storm
activity appears both animal and human. Naturally,
faced with a period of shut-down, shut-in,

we bury nuts in the pantry, hide-hoard milk, butter,
and eggs. Are we ever more alive than this, when nature disregards our comfort, her 

toddler-tantrums disrupting the kiddie table, the one
just steps away from our mature-adult sophisticated
chatter, our measured civility? Ah, the good life. But what's that child up 

to? She's always had a mind of her own, that big little weathermonster.
She's so cute though. We love her but this is a bit much. Who's
child is that? Why Esther, she's yours
Can't you control her?

Sam Traten 03.19.2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Youth Photo Series, Nature



"These photos were taken at Jenkins Arboretum. I enjoy playing with light, filters, and (like in the last one) the PRISMA photo-editing app to make nature more dream-like." -Harrison, age 11 





Affinity CoLab's Artists to Watch, Katie Schmidt McMurry


One of Affinity CoLab's latest Artists to Watch is Katie Schmidt McMurry. McMurry's sense of design, social justice, and humor translate well in textiles and gifts that promote peace and togetherness during a time of fracture within our society. Check out her AMAZING artist shop here!



Krystle N. Adams, Indie Web Series, Episode 1

Krystle N. Adams, Indie Web Series, Episode 2

Krystle N. Adams, Indie Web Series Episode 3

Affinity CoLab's For the Love of Books Event



So, the mission of Affinity CoLab is provide platforms, support, and resources for artists and writers, right? Right. In light of this goal, inviting 9 authors to network, read, and sell their most current work in Affinity CoLab's favorite coffeehouse (those awesome, gracious people over at Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville, PA) seemed like a dream. And it was!

For the Love of Books was born as concept one day after a traditional 4th Sunday Story/Poetry Slam when I found myself sitting with a handful of published authors who'd come in support of the event. I found myself questioning, "If there was an event where authors could come and build community with each other and possibly sell some books, would you be interested?"



On April 23, 2017, For the Love of Books became a reality shortly after the fateful conversation that sparked the idea. Our first attempt was a unique event for writers and readers of Phoenixville (and beyond!). Self-published and indie writers showcased their books, sold their published works, and all nine authors (plus surprise guest Patty Kline Capaldo) participated in a reading of selected passages from their works. It was amazing, my dear reader. Absolutely incredible. My favorite part (other than the actual reading) was in the observing of authors deep in conversation with one another. A little community is built every 4th Sunday at Steel City, and this event was no exception.

Featured writers included: Marianne Modica, Sharon Hajj, Kim Lehman, David Moskowitz, Dottie and Roger Small, Rae Theodore, Karen Meadows, Susan Weidener, Ginger Murphy, and Patty Kline Capaldo.

Check out our new FEATURED BOOKS page for more information and to purchase the books read at this event!

We will be returning to our regularly scheduled Story/Poetry Slam (open mic for local writers) May 28th. Prompt TBA on our Events page soon!

Happy Creating,

Katy Comber
Founder and Curator
Affinity CoLab




Sunday, April 23, 2017

Coming soon!

The Spring Edition is coming! Get ready for: New prompts! New challenges! New author and book recommendations! New poetry and videos and art! It's all coming to a screen near you... April 30th!!! Hooray! Tune in. This edition is worth the wait.